An estimated 10 million tons of specialty crops never gets harvested or makes it beyond the farm (about one-third of what is grown). This loss happens primarily beyond the grower's control due to insufficient viable markets, cosmetic imperfections, weather events and more. (No Food Left Behind, WWF) At Growers for Grace, we see this as 10 million tons of plant-based promise in circular, sustainable design.
In the field of cancer treatment, 64.9% of all small molecule drugs are influenced by natural product structures. (Newman et al., 2020)
In a review covering more than 150 references and studies performed between 2001 and 2016 on the recovery, characterization, and application of valuable constituents of available plant-based secondary stream resources, Schieber noted, "considering the numerous conventional and novel technologies that have been employed for the processing of by-products and the extraction and fractionation of fractions or compounds, it seems that from a technological point of view a sound basis has been established to obtain valuable components in appreciable quantities."
Poor diet has been linked scientifically to nearly half of our nation's deaths from heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. (Tufts) At the same time, the CDC reports that only one in ten of us is actually consuming the recommended daily servings of fruits & vegetables.
Diet-related chronic disease has been called out as a leading driver of our burgeoning healthcare costs. (Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University) While food has been the culprit, research by the Aspen Institute has found that it can also be the cure. If food is medicine, we're growing the answers in vast volumes of hope.
“You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops.
You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.” | Psalm 65:10-11
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